Syria Trust for Development in Focus

“Syria is a trust and its development is a responsibility. Our vision is a nation that bears the positive energy of its people and our goal is to create a supportive environment to enable individuals in Syria to prosper and to participate in the social development of their societies,” this was confirmed by Mr. Hani Aqleh, director of Syria Trust for Development in the province of Lattakia to the Syria Times e-newspaper.

To know more about the foundation and its various activities, Mr. Aqleh said:”Syria Trust for Development is a 17-year-old institution.

Like any other institution it started with a small cadre and a narrow geographical area but today when we talk about the Syria Trust for Development, we are actually talking about 24 branches,  9 non-profit entities and four profitable institutions, namely Al Manara Private University, the National small finance Institution, the Syrian Handicrafts and Diari Construction Establishment.  We proudly say that eight out of the 9 non-profit entities are located in Lattakia Governorate “.

Mr. Aqleh stressed: ”The foundation has been active for years in Homs and Hama through two programs, the first one is called “My Project”, which provides advances to the poor people  in the rural areas.

The other nationally known program is “the Homeland wounded”, through which the Syria Trust is responsible for following up those who have an infection rate of 80% or more. This program will expand in the future to include the wounded, whose injury rate is less than 80%. It is also possible, at a later stage, to follow the wounded of Interior Ministry and the National Defense”.

“We have a program called ”The Initial Legal Response” where, with the help of a team of lawyers, we offer free services for all the legitimate issues and administrative matters that affects many citizens coming to the province from the rest of the cities. This program is keen to help these people get all their identification documents.

Mr. Aqleh went on to say: “MASAR , is one of the old programs carried out by The Syria Trust .It had scored a strong presence in Homs and Lattakia before the crisis. Today it is located in Lattakia through many interactive and educational activities for children in their schools”.

“The Volunteer Club”,  is another program that organizes the volunteer process so that the volunteer undergoes a training course then he can choose the program through which he wishes to provide his volunteer services.

There is also “AMAL” program which  is designed for people with hearing disabilities. They conduct a comprehensive survey for the children aged between1 to 3 to determine if there is any hearing impairment.  Then they will carry out all the necessary surgical procedures that will enable these children to overcome this disability.

The last program is the “Living Heritage”. This program is currently active in Aleppo and Damascus. It works on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the old market of Aleppo through a number of agreements with international organizations. The project also focuses on the expansion of the Sulaymaniyah hospice in Damascus to be a historic destination for visitors.”

Mr. Aqleh added:” We have four “Manarat” or beacons in Lattakia located in: Qutilibiya in the countryside of Jableh, Al Fakhoura district and in the center of the city in Sulaybah and Sheikh Daher and in Tishreen University.”

To know more about the beacons program, we met Miss. Kenana Hamdan, Director of Manarat al- Sheikh Daher, who clarified the meaning and mechanism of the lighthouse by saying: “We chose the term "beacons" because of the deep meaning of this word, Just as the light of the beacon guides the wandering to the right and safe way, so our Manarat are trying to provide support and help to everyone who falls within the scope of this beacons.

Building capacity and creating opportunities are our priorities

Miss Hamdan stressed “Our beacon is a physical space that provides services to all people within this space. Our goal is to set up a variety of activities which are divided into 4 sections: First, we have the Community Support where we try to know the people who are living within our scope and make them know about the services we can provide them.

About 20 employees tour the surrounding houses, alleys, shops and associations to know about the place and communicate with people who want to benefit from our services inside or outside the foundation.

During their tours the staff will have their own notes to a range of service or educational initiatives. We invite a group of people from the region and do what is called concentrated groups. Together, they design these initiatives and the people assist in the implementation of all the services that this region requires.

The Educational Support:  we divided it into different age groups, we provide every age group with all the needed educational services whether it is in basic classes or recreational education.

The Professional Section, consists of a group of skilled craftsmen working for free to teach people who want to learn a craft. We have specialists to teach sewing hairdressers cook and soap industry and soon we will have courses in electronics maintenance.

Finally, we have the Psychological Support. It provides services not only for people who have suffered from the war as a community coming to the province but also provide services to the local community which suffers from psychological crises or social problems regardless of the war and its consequences”.

“Our mission is to inspire and empower individuals and communities in Syria by launching programs and managing them in partnership with people in order to develop capabilities, attitudes and opportunities that enable them to highlight their potential and to control their lives and to benefit society,” Miss Hamdan concluded.


Amal Farhat from Lattakia to the Syria Times